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League of Nations digitization project

In 2017, the Institutional Memory Section of the UN Library Geneva launched a major five-year project (2017-2022) to digitize the entire League of Nations archives.

This project, called Total Digital Access, will ensure digital and physical preservation and state-of-the-art free online access to around 15 million pages, or almost three linear kilometres of archival documents of the League of Nations (1920-1946)

For more information about the project please see the United Nations Office at Geneva pages

Official Papers guides


Oxford holds a substantial collection of League of Nations documents and publications very little of which is available digitally. The collection is situated in the Official Papers reading room at the Bodleian Law Library, all material is on open shelf.

Born out of the conflict of World War One, the League of Nations was the first international security organisation whose main aim was to maintain world peace. The League's aim was to maintain peace via collective security, disarmament, arbitration and sanctions as stated in its Covenant.

The constitution of the League of Nations was adopted by the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, established in Part 1 of the Treaty of Versailles. The League held its first Council meeting on January 16th, 1920 in Paris. In November the League moved to its headquarters at the Palace of Nations, Geneva where the first General Assembly was held. The first Secretary-General was Sir Eric Drummond.

The League was unable to stop the military aggression that preceeded World War II and ceased to function during the war. Consequently the League was dissolved on April 18th 1946, to be superseded by the United Nations

In the first instance search for documents on SOLO, the Bodleian Libraries' catalogue. If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact:

Note not all material has been catalgued. 


Contact details

Hannah Chandler's picture
Hannah Chandler
Official Papers Section
Bodleian Law Library
Manor Road
01865 (2)71472

Podcasts from Oxford University

Anthropology Podcasts from the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography

'League of Nations; Minority Regime as Anthropological Object'

Jane K Cowan (Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Sussex) on rethinking minority, nationality, the international and international governance through history in an effort to understand the League of Nations in terms of anthropology.